October 26, 2010 | 3:04pm
After an off-season that can be described only as batshit, the NBA regular season is finally upon us as LeBron James makes his long-awaited debut as a member of the Miami Heat.
Never in the history of mankind has someone been so reviled for choosing to move from Cleveland to Miami Beach. Yes, how dare he want to leave a team with no discernible talent that plays in the middle of colorless urban decay in favor of surf, sunshine, parties, gorgeous people, and Dwyane Wade! How! DARE! He!
LeBron James is officially the most hated man in America. We're surprised no one has started a 24-hour cable channel devoted to telling people that he will eat your children, use your pets as bed slippers, and hide the fact that he might not be a U.S.-born citizen.
In a nifty new Nike ad that debuted yesterday, LeBron lets it be known exactly how he feels about all the hatred:
Yes, it's a commercial for $140 sneakers. But it's existential and introspective. LeBron is digging deep, searching his soul, and delivering a profound soliloquy that says, "Yes, I hear you, America. I'm a villain for exercising my right as a free agent. You can all go fuck yourselves. Also, buy my sneakers!"
Well, that's the way we interpreted it anyway.
But all LeBron wants is to win a title or two with his friends. Yet he's not allowed to.
And yes, there was the ill-advised "The Decision" thing where he figuratively crapped all over Cleveland on live national television. But all the man did was say he's taking his talents to South Beach. It's not like he set a sack of kittens on fire.
But now it comes down to this: LeBron joins pals D-Wade and Chris Bosh (starting tonight in Boston) to do what he does: namely, play the game of basketball. And the world is powerless to stop it.
James was raised in the art of basketball. And his God-given ability took it from there. Now, as a man, not only can he use those basketball skills to dunk and make three-pointers, but also he is capable of using said skills to clobber people so hard that their brains explode. And at the end of the day, all the man wanted was to do the very thing with his friends in a place that doesn't look like a postapocalyptic city where people kill each other for gasoline.
And how can you hate a guy who wants to make people's brains explode in the company of his buddies?
No matter. Love him or hate him. The time for talk and analysis and curmudgeonly, title-less former NBA players spouting opinions from their dougnut holes is over. It's time.
It's time for LeBron James and his buddies to do work. And oh what work they shall do.